The Power of Grace Ministries

January 13

Paul had joy in his heart even when he was in chains and it was evident to the palace guards who held him in bondage. Christians today tend to remain in spiritual bondage and therefore fall short of having joy in their heart in all situations. What is the difference? Paul understood that living under the Old Covenant of the Laws of Moses and the Prophets was the true bondage, but there is life in Christ Jesus through the power of Grace under the New Covenant. 

Philippians 1:13-14
“13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear”.

 The evidence of Paul’s true chains in Christ to the whole palace guard was not simply through his words.  He was in prison because of his words and many people thought it was right that he was there because they did not agree with what he was saying.  It was his actions and demeanor that spoke louder than his words.  The evidence “That my chains are in Christ”, is the answer to what changed the palace guards hearts and encouraged most of the brethren in the Lord.  Key word here is evidence.  Paul was filled with the “fruits of righteousness” as mentioned in Philippians 1:11.  In Ephesians 3:1 & Philemon 1:1 & 9, Paul refers to himself as a prisoner of Christ Jesus.  He was not saying he was held captive against his will to live for Christ, but rather he purposefully placed his life in confinement of Christ to live only for Christ.  Paul was a man that understood the precious gift of salvation, but in receiving that gift he also understood the great commission that is for all Christians, in that his life was no longer his own.  After his Damascus Road experience his life was to live on this earth for Jesus, bringing this precious gift to as many people as he could.  In bringing this gift to people he was also joyful when he found those who received the same spiritual insight and chose to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ themselves. 

 As other Christians began to realize the joy Paul experienced in Jesus even while chained and in prison, they grew in inner strength.  Their confidence was not in his physical chains.  There was not a false since of security that Paul was the only person the Romans would imprison for this new belief.  They too recognized the same truth Paul speaks of just seven verses later in this chapter, “21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain”.  Prison and even death no longer has a sting worthy of the glory of life in Christ Jesus and the eternal glory that awaits every believer in Jesus.  This personal realization that the brethren had, came through the observance of the life of Paul especially while he was in prison.  What is your life saying to the people who observe you?  As mature Christians walk more boldly in Christ, they also are an encouragement to others that may not understand what they truly have.  Stir this verse up in your life, Romans 1:16 “for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation, for everyone who believes”.